Max is a result oriented SaaS sales and business development professional, with a blend of marketing, customer development, and leadership skills.
One tweet. That's all it takes for your brand to take a hit.
In the time it takes for someone to type 140 characters and hit "Enter," everything you work so hard to build, nurture and protect can be put at risk--and if you're not actively participating in brand monitoring, you might not know until it's too late to do anything about it.
The times they are a changin'
These days, anyone with a smartphone and a gripe can damage your brand. A disillusioned former employee with a Twitter account. A customer with an unflattering story to tell on Facebook. A good employee making a bad decision and sharing it on Instagram.
They click, post and, just like that, all of their friends and followers see something bad about your brand. It might be inaccurate, out of context or a straight-up lie, but that won't matter. Because in today's world the media is social and un-business-like; there aren't any editors around to call you and confirm the allegations. It just happens.
Kind of makes you pine for a good-old vitriol-filled letter to the editor, doesn't it?
At least then you'd be sure to see it and know exactly when, where and how to respond. Or you could quash it before it even made it to print.
But as Bob Dylan sang before he became a pitchman for Chyrsler, the times they are a changin'.
Today, someone posts something and it lights up social media. Before you know it, the story spreads like wildfire across the internet--from Twitter to Facebook to Instagram and, if you're really unlucky, to the mainstream media.
Which is exactly why you need to be ready like a brand monitoring hotshot firefighter, ready to parachute in to the inferno that is social media and put out the fire.
Brand monitoring in the brave new world
You have to admire the hotshot firefighters, don't you? They are the men and women who risk their lives to put out wildfires. When called upon, they go straight into the inferno, use their knowledge and skills to do what needs to be done, and then they get out.
And that's the same way you need to handle brand monitoring in the new world of social media:
- You need to know where you're going. Hotshot firefighters don't just go running blindly into a wildfire. At the very least, they know the landscape, the environment and the climate. You should too. Become a student of social media. Understand the environments in which your customers, employees and key stakeholders are communicating. Identify Those who are your friends and those who present a risk. When one of them sparks a brand-burning controversy, you'll be better prepared to respond.
- You need to watch for smoke. Used to be a public relations professional could read the paper in the morning, watch the news in the evening and go to sleep at night knowing exactly where his or her brand stood. Not anymore.
Today, your brand can take a hit anywhere at any time. So set up brand monitoring systems to watch for smoke. Use news alerts for real-time monitoring. Find a service to help you see deeper into the depths of Facebook and Twitter. And when you see things that concern you, use your skills to respond (or not).
You need to get in and get out. There's an old public relations rule that says you should never give a fire oxygen. Forget it. In today's world, authenticity and honesty matter more. So when something bad happens, get in, say what you need to say, and get out.